Chicago joins other Democratic strongholds in creating immigrant legal funds in wake of Trump win

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

CHICAGO (AP) — Major U.S. cities and counties are beefing up legal services for immigrants to help them fight deportation and avoid fraudulent lawyers in the wake of Donald Trump’s election.

Tapping local government funds to represent immigrants in federal proceedings is an early example of the type of pushback the Republican incoming president will receive in Democratic strongholds.

Advocates call it a matter of justice and smart economics, but some question whether it’s a fair use of taxpayer money.

Chicago has approved a $1.3 million fund. Officials in Los Angeles are working on a plan. Some California state lawmakers have proposed spending tens of millions of dollars to provide lawyers to immigrants facing deportation. New York is mulling a public-private legal fund, building on New York City’s public defender program.